Tuesday, 5 August 2008

a new adventure (part 4)

i’ve been feeling a little nervous about making this particular post - it seems like such a momentous thing to me, but i know that in the grand scheme of life, the universe and whatever it’s just a small achievement….

here goes: i’ve finished my first quilt!

i feel so very accomplished and clever, because quilting is such an involved, time-consuming and many-faceted process.

you may have read about the early stages of this quilt’s gestation, because i was very keen to ramble excitedly about this new hobby, but as the process has absorbed me and i’ve found what i am feeling about quilting becoming more akin to a passion or even an obsession, i’ve found it harder to articulate just how much enjoyment i’ve been getting out of some bits of fabric and a needle and thread!

i think alicia paulson of posie gets cozy expresses that sense of satisfaction and pleasure really well when she says:

“…finishing a quilt doesn’t feel like anything else. i don’t really know how to describe it. … no matter how you slice it (literally) — it’s a big, big project. when i see really fancy quilts on the blogs or at the fabric store or at the fair, i literally stand pigeon-toed and in complete awe, because if you’ve ever finished one, you know that, well . . . they don’t make themselves.” (see the full post about her gorgeous lemoncello quilt here.)

so, would you like to see how the story ends?

i added a double border to the assembled patches, then hand quilted around every one of the 120 squares as well as once around the border. this was probably the most time consuming part of the whole process, and having the quilt over my legs has kept me cosy as i’ve whiled away many a cold and grey afternoon sewing on the couch. i even took to toting the quilt along with me in a little suitcase when i went up to my mum’s house, or over to a friend’s place, so it’s already a well travelled little thing!

here i am, in the process of hand quilting.

once i’d finished the quilting process i made a looooooong strip of binding out of fabric from the original patchworking process. i hand sewed the binding on, and voilà! the quilt was complete!

my first quilt

this photo shows the backing i chose and my binding.

this has been such a wonderfully fulfilling experience. i love having big projects to really sink my teeth into, and a quilt definitely falls into that category. if you would like to make one like mine, the pattern is called rebekah amy’s quilt, and it was designed by rosalie quinlan. it was really easy to understand, straightforward to construct, and easy to modify (for example, the original pattern is for 10 x 10 squares, but i wanted mine to be bigger and it was very easy both to add two extra rows of squares, and then put a border on it). if you would like to get your hands on a copy of the pattern you can find a list of distributors on rosalie’s blog.

i suppose it won’t surprise you to hear that i’m already in the process of cutting the fabric for my next quilt - this one is going to be a present for someone special…

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